AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 182 Stellar Winds, Circumstellar Matter, and Activity
Poster, Thursday, 9:20am-4:00pm, January 12, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[182.14] Radiative Transfer Modeling of the Extended Dust Shell of AFGL 618

J. Tartar, A. Speck (University of Missouri), M. Meixner (STScI), M. Nenkova (Seneca College), M. Elitzur (University of Kentucky)

AFGL 618 is a carbon-rich post AGB star/protoplanetary nebula (PPN), and is surrounded by extremely large circumstellar dust shells, containing the fossil record of its AGB mass loss. This dust shell ahs been observed at 120\mum and 180\mum by ISOPHT. We present results of radiative-transfer (RT) modeling of these dust shells, using the 1-d RT code DUSTY. While AFGL 618 is clearly axisymmetric close to the central star, this axisymmetry is contained well within the PSF of the ISO FIR observation. Our models are intended to determine several parameters AFGL 618 which are not currently wll constrained; among tehse being distance, gross dust distribution, stellar temperature, inner dust shell radius, dust grain size distribution, and dust grain composition. While there is some degeneracy within the models providing good fits to the data, some general results have emerged. We found that the optical depth of the dust shell in the mid-IR (\tau9.7\mum) is between 3 and 7. Furthermore, we have found that in order for the modeled brightnesses to match the observational data at both wavelengths (for the central region), it is necessary to include a considerable amount of crystalline dust (graphite and SiC) into the circumstellar shell in addition to amorphous carbon. Finally we show that the radial density distributions needed to match the observations are indicative of either constant mass-loss rate throughout the histor of the shell, or increasing mass-loss rates for the last few hundred years of the AGB. This increasing mass loss is interpreted as the superwind phase.

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